Attendees at the recent Strata & Hadoop World conference in San Jose, CA quickly realized that there were as many questions circulating about the event as there were data professionals. Information Management had the opportunity to speak with several attendees and exhibitors about the most pressing concerns in 2016.

Amit Satoor, a senior director with SAP, shared his observations on what customers are most concerned with and how the vendor community is responding.

Information Management: What are the most common themes that you heard at the conference and how do these themes align with what you expected?

Amit Satoor: In our conversations at Strata + Hadoop World, in-memory processing was a dominating topic. As big data matures and access becomes democratized with SQL-on-Hadoop entering the mainstream, there’s a growing desire and need for organizations to have access to better data analytics tools, while at the same time simplifying management of their distributed data frameworks.

This theme is pervasive in our ongoing discussions with customers, which is why we developed SAP HANA Vora to meet those customer needs. SAP HANA Vora enables organizations to combine internal business intelligence with external data by extending the Apache Spark execution framework, providing enriched interactive analytics on Hadoop. This type of real-time access is re-energizing the Hadoop market and empowering organizations to make smarter, faster decisions based on real data insights.

IM: What are the most common challenges that attendees face with data management and data analytics?

AS: With the rapid growth of big data has also come the accumulation of thousands of applications and databases. This has created massive fragmentation, integration and access issues. At the same time, there’s an increased need for businesses to have access to real-time queries and predictive analytics.

Solutions like SAP HANA Vora are helping companies simplify their data landscape and make better decisions armed with a full understanding of their business activities in context across all data stored in Hadoop, enterprise systems and other distributed data sources.

IM: What are the most surprising things that you are heard from attendees regarding their data management initiatives?

AS: It’s clear that business leadership now understands the value of data and data management and having this sponsorship is key to driving true innovation. Analyzing operational data is always critical for every big data project.

Now we’re seeing more developers looking to bridge operational data with external data sources for even more powerful analytics that drive positive business outcomes. From all my conversations with event attendees, it’s clear that there are many successful use cases out there and cutting edge implementations are now top of mind.

IM: What are the top issues or challenges with data management and data analytics in 2016?

AS: As we enter the era of digital business, security continues to be a core concern of our customers. Consumers need to trust that their data is safe, and businesses rely on their IT infrastructure to ensure a low risk of exposure. SAP is dedicated to developing highly secure solutions that alleviate customers’ data security and privacy risks.

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